Saturday, May 07, 2005

Mother's Day

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. You may have noticed. I didn't. Actually, I forgot completely. I was so busy planning Crystal's birthday that I forgot to plan anything for Mother's Day. This is okay with her, although I'm not going to expect a Father's Day celebration. The urgency from the holiday seems to be gone for me. After all, my mother is dead. And, by the way, I consider it a small personal triumph that I can consider that thought without breaking into tears. I saw a bee today. It was buzzing around in the kitchen, trying to figure out how to get out of the strange white hive into which it had blundered. I opened the back door and ushered it into freedom. It was a bee that ushered my mother into freedom. So small, yet still so potent. My mother was outside in the garden, when she was stung by a bee. Soon thereafter, she went into anaphalactic shock and died. No, I don't know what that means, and I'm probably happier that way. It’s easier to think that Mom collapsed on the dining room floor and went home to be with Jesus. I’d rather not know the details. But I didn't want to write about my mother's death. I've already done that many times, and perhaps I will share those writings with all of you in another post. Instead, I wanted to write about my mother's life. Life. My mother was filled with life. It bubbled up in her and spilled over into everything that she did. My mother never did anything small. No, it had to be huge, bursting with life and enthusiasm. Big bright birthday parties. Big bright flower gardens. Big bright weddings. And, invariably, in the middle of all the happy chaos, was Mom, dressed in her brightest colors, reveling in the insanity of it all. Mom loved parties. As a result, she became quite good at finding obscure reasons to celebrate. I recall celebrating Mole Day (October 23), Flag Day, the Summer Solstice, and (a personal favorite) The First Picnic Of The Year, held on January 1. Yes, it was snowing, but so what? There were days that I was certain that Mom was casting about for some reason, any reason, to throw a party. Mom loved her garden. For a variety of reasons, she had a personal vendetta against grass, and so she took any opportunity to tear it from the ground and replace it with flowers. The yard of her house overflowed with flowers, which could be seen from the other end of the block. She had even dug several ponds in the back yard and laid a patio from slate and other flat stones scavenged from local creeks. At night, she would sit on her patio, drinking sangria and listening to the running water and the croaking frogs. Mom loved her children. I know that we have all dabbled in various pursuits that were foreign to her. Some of us dove headlong into strange hobbies and interests. Um, like, er, me. Her children were not normal by any stretch of the imagination. But, regardless of the obscurity of the topic or the strangeness of the pursuit, Mom was always right there, doing her best to understand and show interest. I know that she didn’t always understand, but, even at those times, she loved us enough to fake it and try. A certain story about a Servants of Cthulhu costume comes to mind, but the telling of that will have to wait for another day. As an adult, I have heard more of my mother’s story, and I know that her life was not always easy. I know that there were times in her life that she was within inches of giving up and throwing it all away. But, oddly enough, these are some of the times from my childhood that I remember the most fondly. Because, you see, Mom always found some way to conjure joy and happiness out of any situation, even the hardest ones. Last night we celebrated Samuel’s birthday. He just turned four. So, for his party, we held a campout in the back yard. We grilled hot dogs, toasted marshmallows over a fire, and ate s’mores. Then, as nighttime crept across the sky, we crawled into our tent and fell asleep. It was the sort of thing that Mom would have done. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.


Anonymous Gabrielle said...

We celebrated 100 years of flush toilets. That was a day to remember. I wish I could remember which day is the anniversary so I could celebrate again, but I have forgotten. It makes me wonder how much will I forget. How much of her will I lose? Even so, come Lord, come

5/09/2005 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Seth Ben-Ezra said...

The answer to that question is somewhat involved, but according to this site, the date is probably January 27.

If nothing else, we can say that it's January 27, right?

5/09/2005 11:33:00 PM  

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